Pastoral Notes 7th December 2014

MARY, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DIOCESAN PATRON
The ‘Footsteps’ members had a short tour recently of some of the central features of our Northampton Cathedral and remembering Our Lady, redeemed, as we all are, but by exemption from sin, with no barrier to charity. She is the prime diocesan patron for Northampton. When the first eight (including our own) English dioceses were established in 1850 by Pope Pius IX, Birmingham diocese first chose ‘the Immaculate Conception’ title of patronage, a devotion ancient in England. In 1854 when, on 8th December, the teaching was defined, with the affirmation of the bishops world-wide, the patronage of Our Lady Immaculate was extended to all the eight dioceses, so their major diocesan feast was celebrated by all eight dioceses together, on the same day of definition. The Bishop always invites us to the Cathedral for Mass at 7.00pm. Our secondary diocesan patron is St Thomas Becket, summoned to the royal court at Northampton before fleeing abroad.